October 29, 2018

Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai LitFest, a celebration of ideas, announces its 9th edition

Over 100 globally renowned writers, thought leaders and performers will exchange ideas and lead discussions on contemporary issues

  • An international line-up of literary stars and thinkers
  • Avant-garde performances from across the world
  • Four-day festival in Mumbai: Thursday, November 15, 2018, through Sunday, November 18, 2018
  • Third venue in Bandra added this year
  • Entry to the festival is free, and entry to sessions will be on a first-come first-in basis. Unlike previous years, there will not be any pass system this year.

Mumbai: The most anticipated event in Mumbai’s literary calendar, Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai LitFest – a festival of ideas, literature and culture – returns to the city, bringing together a galaxy of world-famous authors, thinkers and artistes, spanning a multitude of genres, at the four-day festival.

Tata Literature Live! will run from Thursday, 15th, through Sunday, 18th, November, at the National Centre for the Performing Arts, Nariman Point (Nov 15-18); at Prithvi Theatre, Juhu (Nov 17-18); and also at a new, third venue, Title Waves and St Pauls Institute of Communication Education, Bandra (Nov 17-18).

The festival will feature stimulating panel discussions, talks, Q&A sessions, book signings, cutting-edge plays, music and dance performances, and other special events. With thousands of attendees every year, the festival with its multiple sessions, provides a unique interactive platform for book lovers to engage and network with globally acclaimed writers, intellectuals and innovators.

There will be around 100 participants and performers representing nine countries at the festival. They include:

  • Stephen Daldry – director of the Netflix series The Crown.
  • David Ebershoff – award-winning writer of The Danish Girl.
  • Alan Hollinghurst – Booker Prize winner.
  • Alberto Ruy-Sanchez – noted Mexican writer.
  • Mark Tully – legendary and much-loved BBC man in India.
  • Aruna Roy – RTI champion.
  • Jayanta Mahapatra – revered poet.
  • Neil MacGregor – celebrated British art historian, former director of the National Gallery and British Museum.
  • Matt Ridley – provocative writer on science and economics.
  • Upamanyu Chatterjee – author of the iconic English, August.
  • Eran Hadas – renowned Israeli poet.
  • Shashi Tharoor – author and politician.
  • Lionel Shriver – award-winning author and activist.
  • Deborah Moggach – author of These Foolish Things, made into the film The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
  • Michael Brearley – cricketer and psychoanalyst.
  • Folco Terzani – famous Italian journalist and writer.
  • Sebastian Faulks – British novelist, journalist and broadcaster.
  • RA Mashelkar – innovator par excellence.
  • Pavan Varma – noted author, poet and political personality.
  • Boria Majumdar – popular sports historian and commentator.
  • Ashok Ferrey – prominent Sri Lankan author.
  • Kalki Koechlin – popular actress and activist.
  • Nambi Narayanan – eminent ISRO scientist.

Other acclaimed writers, poets and artistes who will be at the festival include economist Sanjeev Sanyal; novelists Ashwin Sanghi, Janice Pariat, Aatish Taseer, Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi and Carlo Pizzati; poets Tishani Doshi and Harnidh Kaur; eco-warriors Jonathan Drori and Rishi Aggarwal; and investigative journalist Scott Carney.

Tata Literature Live! will open with the unveiling of the festival brochure followed by an insightful talk by Neil MacGregor on 'Beyond Words: What Things Can (Perhaps) Tell Us!’. The opening day will also feature the festival's big debate, the topic this year being ‘Should India Have a Presidential System of Government?’ Shashi Tharoor and Bhanu Dhamija will argue for the motion, and Pavan Varma and Teesta Setalvad against. The debate will be moderated by noted journalist Barkha Dutt.

Founder and festival director, Anil Dharker said, “Our festival is as much an ideas festival as a literary festival. Each year, it offers space for discussions and exchange of views of the highest quality on various aspects of literature, poetry, the dramatic arts and writing, as well as on some burning and current issues of the day in India and across the world.

“For me, one of the most encouraging aspects of these four days every year has been, along with our distinguished line-up of globally recognised minds and practitioners, the sight of thousands of young people and students who attend all our sessions and engage with them enthusiastically. It proves that a festival like ours is not an indulgent, esoteric event but that it is meeting and serving the genuine interests of our youth, and that gives me the greatest satisfaction.”

Harish Bhat, brand custodian, Tata Sons, said, “The Tata group – with a 150-year heritage of commitment to the community – is privileged to bring to the vibrant city of Mumbai, for the 9th year, this extraordinary celebration of ideas, Tata Literature Live! From nine countries around the globe, over an exhilarating four days, distinguished authors, poets, thinkers, playwrights and performers will congregate to discuss, debate and share their thoughts freely. I am sure this edition of Tata Lit Live! will be even more stimulating, refreshing and thought-provoking than ever before.”

Tata Literature Live! Awards
Every year, The Tata Literature Live! Awards honour legends, established authors as well as emerging writers.

  • The Tata Literature Live! Lifetime Achievement Award celebrates outstanding contributions to Indian literature. Some of the past recipients of the award include Amitav Ghosh, VS Naipaul. Mahashweta Devi, Girish Karnad, MT Vasudevan Nair and Khushwant Singh.
  • The Tata Steel Literature Live! Poet Laureate Award celebrates significant accomplishment in poetry. Last year, the award was given to Keki Nasserwanji Daruwalla.
  • The Tata Literature Live! First Book Award recognises upcoming talent in fiction and non-fiction.
  • The Tata Literature Live! Book of the Year Award celebrates the best writing of the year in fiction and non-fiction.
  • The Tata Literature Live! Business Book Award honours the best business writing.
  • The Big Little Book Award, in association with the Tata Trusts’ Parag initiative, will honour distinction in two categories — author and illustrator / artist – in the literature-for-children category. This year, the spotlight will be on Kannada in the author category.
  • The Tata Literature Live! Publisher of the Year Award acknowledges the greatest contribution in the publishing industry.
  • The Sultan Padamsee Award for Playwriting promotes and encourages writing for English language theatre in India.

For more details about Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai LitFest 2018, please visit:

The Tata group is the title sponsor of Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai LitFest, Tata Steel is the co-sponsor and Landmark is the knowledge partner. The festival is conceived by Anil Dharker, founder and festival director of Literature Live!, which organises the festival with the support of the Tata group.